EMPTY homes at part of the Craylands estate described as “resembling a warzone” will be demolished early in the new year after years of inactivity.

In a leaflet sent to residents, Sanctuary Housing has confirmed it is ready to continue with the regeneration project at the Basildon estate following the collapse of Swan Housing.

Swan Housing committed to a multi-year plan for a £250million regeneration of the Craylands Estate in 2006, with plans to build 1,310 homes, but the project was abandoned and left unfinished.

Now, a contractor has been appointed and empty homes in the “north phase” of the development will be demolished with work starting in the new year, to be complete by June.

According to residents, due to the delays over the years, part of the site has become an anti-social and drug taking hotspot.

Andrew Schrader, Conservative councillor responsible for housing and estate renewal, said: “It is very good news that this regeneration is being progressed by Sanctuary.

“It is hugely positive and reassuring to see Sanctuary following through and progressing this project, which has been stalled for a long time.

“It is gratifying to see Sanctuary’s commitment to picking up where Swan left off and I look forward to seeing this area vastly improved.”

Earlier this year, Sanctuary acquired Swan Housing, and confirmed the plans would be continued.

Sanctuary has been reviewing of all Swan’s regeneration schemes since taking over.

The Craylands regeneration is spilt into three parts, “Phase North”, “Phase South” and “Phase West”.

Phase west has already seen hundreds of homes completed and the land for the next 45 homes will be transferred from Homes England to Sanctuary in the next few weeks.

Phase south includes homes which are still being lived in by residents, unlike the empty homes in phase north which are going to be demolished. Sanctuary is still reviewing future plans for phase south.

In the leaflet, Sarah Bring, head of development in south for Sanctuary, said: “We are continuing to build more much-needed new homes on Phase West, which when complete will have created 667 new homes. The current tranche of phase west will provide 260 homes. We expect to finish these homes by summer 2024.

“We have appointed a contractor and will be starting demolition work on Phase North in early 2024.”